Nyusi welcomes Dhlakama announcement, warns against time wasting

Jinan (China), (AIM) – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Saturday welcomed the decision of Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the rebel movement Renamo, to appoint a three member team to prepare for a face to face meeting between Nyusi and Dhlakama, but warned that this should not be an excuse for countless rounds of preparatory meetings.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi

Months ago the government announced its team to prepare the Nyusi-Dhlakama meeting and invited Renamo to do likewise. Instead, Dhlakama insisted on a string of pre-conditions, of which the most important was that international mediators should be appointed. The mediators Renamo wanted were the Catholic Church, the European Union and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The government, however, insisted there was no need to involve foreign mediators in a dispute among Mozambicans. Dhlakama finally dropped his pre-conditions last week, and announced a team consisting of three Renamo parliamentary deputies – Jose Manteigas, Eduardo Namburete and Andre Magibire.

Speaking at a press conference in the city of Jinan, with the Mozambican journalists who accompanied him on a state visit to China that ended on Saturday, Nyusi said the appointment of the Renamo delegation “is the news the Mozambican people have been waiting for”.

But the task of the government and Renamo delegations was just to prepare the conditions for the face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. “We don’t want to waste time with hundreds of meetings in the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre”, said the President.

Nyusi was referring to the apparently endless “dialogue” between the government and Renamo in Maputo’s main conference centre, which began in April 2013 and dragged on until August 2015, when Renamo abruptly broke the talks off.

But Nyusi was optimistic that his long-awaited meeting with Dhlakama “will happen and will be productive”.

It was the meeting between the two leaders that would take binding decisions. The preparatory talks “will set targets and we hold responsible those who do not meet them”.

Nyusi noted that, despite the appointment of the Renamo preparatory team, attacks by Renamo gunmen on the roads in central Mozambique have continued. “Piling on the pressure though armed attacks is an old tactic, and it doesn’t work”, he added.

The government’s response to the latest attacks, Nyusi said, was “to urge the defence and security forces to remain calm, not to rise to provocation, but to defend the people and protect the convoys on the roads”.

Post published in: Africa News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *